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How long will the government neglect in Josephstaal continue?

For an outsider, it is difficult to comprehend the hardships that the people of Josephstaal go through every day.

From a functioning station in  the 70s and 80s,  Josephstaal, is now just a shadow of its former self.  Much of the infrastructure built during a time when vehicles could  travel here are vacant.

While taxpayers pay for salaries of public servants, those who are posted to Josephstaal don’t want to go there. The two day trek and unreliable transport is a motivation killer for those not used to the rural hardships of Papua New Guinea.

“I want to know where the Local Level Government President, the Middle Ramu MP and the Governor are. Since the airstrip and the road closed, life has become extremely difficulty for our people.”

Paul Endukuru, Peace officer, Josephstaal.

The solution is simple.

Josephstaal needs a road and a bridge.  But the political will to get the road fixed is painfully absent.  The bridge was destroyed by flood years ago and has not been replaced. Many of the older kids can’t remember the last time a plane brought  in supplies.   

The Middle Ramu District Administration has not invested in the road and the provincial government has remained silent.

After two months of political instability in Waigani, where millions of kina were  spent so generously on hire cars, hotel bills, food, entertainment and promises of big projects,  Just seeing  the people in Josephstaal  suffer because of 30 years of government neglect  will make you angry.

When you travel to Josephstaal,  you get to understand the difficulties the people face. 

The first thing that confronts you, is the  uncertainty of transportation.  Unless you have everything prearranged,  you really don’t know when the next vehicle come to the  drop off point. Or when the next boat will take you up river to where the track to Josephstaal begins.
Travel is hard for families with small children. 

Making this journey, gives you an appreciation of why government  workers don’t find Josephstaal an attractive career path.  

Church health workers, like Patrick Angrai have to go through this at the beginning of the year and every quarters when they have to pick up medical supplies in Madang.  If boat doesn’t come, they have to wait for it.

The two day trek to Josephstaal, goes through thick jungle and sago swamps.  Text books, medical  supplies, food and building materials are carried on foot on this trek.

At Josephstaal, many of the people have given up hope. They’ve become so used to the neglect that they’ve  tried their best to  adapt.

But it is hard to ignore the hundreds of  school children whose opportunities for education have been cut short by ongoing government neglect.

2 comments on “How long will the government neglect in Josephstaal continue?

  1. Nelson Nombri

    I am so saddened to read this. The hardship people in Joesphstaal are facing is way to much already and the past and current government of this country is to be blamed for the hardship these people are facing with regards to health, education and basic government services.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Why are most health aid posts in PNG non-operational? How can this be improved? – Duresi's Odyssey

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